While Spain doesn’t enjoy very much rain on its plains in August, the country does welcome with the heat as many parties as you can find variations of tapas.
From Madrid to Barcelona, the sangria is flowing, sometimes with a hint of tomato. Religious celebrations, tomato fights and neighborhood competitions bring out the best of this country in August.
Most importantly, if you attend these parties in August, you will truly become a Spaniard for the evening, staying out, as they do best, until the sun shines.
Before you start looking for cheap flights to Madrid, take a few minutes to read up on a few of Spain’s unique August fiestas:
Virgin de la Paloma Fiesta (Madrid)—Madrid kicks it into gear for the month of August, specifically with its Fiesta of the Virgen de la Paloma. Since the 18th century, the city has been celebrating in Plaza de las Vistillas in this late summer month. This year the party begins on August 11th and goes until August 15th. Locals adorn traditional costumes while dancing for crowds and onlookers. Music, performances, eating and drinking quickly surround. The main highlight of this Spanish party is the procession dedicated to the Virgin of Doves, otherwise Virgen de la Paloma. Firemen from Madrid carry the Virgen de la Paloma through the streets of the city’s old center.
La Tomatina (Buñol)—If you have always daydreamed of starting a food fight in grade school, La Tomatina is your ultimate party. West of Valencia in the town of Buñol, the messy tomato fight takes place on August 31, 2011. Held every year, vendors start selling beer and sangria early for the thousands that come to take part in a tradition dating back over 60 years. Tomato filled trucks roll through town in the morning and locals will hose you off at its end as they jeer at you from their balconies.
Festivities in honor of the Virgen del Sagrario (Toledo)—Tomatoes are to La Tomatina just as fireworks and miraculous water are to the festival of the Virgen del Sagrario, held on August 15th. Most of the celebrating takes place around Toledo’s Cathedral with concerts, dances and sporting events. Water from the cloister of the cathedral is distributed to the public, believed to have miraculous powers. Of course, you can find also find other liquids if you believe in the miracle of a hangover.
Festa Major de Grácia (Barcelona)—Set to take place this year from August 15th until August 21st, the Festa Major de Grácia is a competition rooted in Barcelona’s Grácia neighborhood. The streets that make up this section of the city decorate their hearts out, with the help of Legos and loads of plywood in some cases. A winner is determined at the end, but before that can occur, the whole neighborhood comes out to party. Bars and restaurants set up in the streets, selling the cheapest drinks you will find in all of Barcelona. Grab a cold mojito for just a few euros and watch some of the performances taking place street to street.
Virgen de la Asunción (Chinchón)—Located just 45 kilometers from Madrid, you should make a day trip to Chinchón in August, especially for the Festival of the Virgen de la Asunción. Celebrations include an encierro, otherwise known as a bulls running throughout the streets of this medieval city.
As you may already know, the party in Spain isn’t only confined to the month of August. You can join in the fiesta any time of year with cheap flights from OneTravel. As a special thanks for reading our blog, use Coupon Code SM17 to receive up to $17 off your purchase.
Flickr: Juame Meneses